Some 1,000 charriers went on strike last week over a wage dispute as the leave scheme ends. The strike is now resolved, but the ripple effect of the walkout has already forced one pub to close and there are fears more will follow before the end of the week.
The draymen involved in the action are responsible for around 40 percent of all beer deliveries to pubs in Britain, including names like Amstel, Fosters and Heineken.
Supply problems have been compounded by the coronavirus pingemia, which has resulted in a shortage of truck drivers capable of making normal deliveries.
One pub – the Greyhound Inn in Stogursey – has revealed it was once forced to close after not receiving enough barrels of beer for its customers.
The Greyhound Inn told guests: “The pub closed today and until further notice has seen a shortage of beer due to the brewery strike.
“We just don’t have Amstel, Fosters or Heineken so we decided to close the pub until we have new stock. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
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And the Spring Vale Inn, in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, said: “We’re really down and we may have to close Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.”
Pubs across the country are desperately under-supplied at the moment, with some reports claiming the problem will not be resolved until mid-September.
The big pub chains are believed to be the most affected, as they depend the most on imported brands.
John Wray, owner of Venue, in Bolton, Greater Manchester, said: “There is growing concern that we may be missing out.”
And as the supply crisis worsens, some ads have reported aggressive behavior and abuse from disgruntled customers.
The Fox and Hounds pub in Clavering, Essex, reported that the lack of some beers caused patrons to “swear and scream” at bar staff.
But the staff go out of their way to make sure patrons can still enjoy their pub outings.
A notice at the Seven Wives pub in St Ives, Cornwall, said: “Due to strike issues with Heineken with deliveries we (like most pubs etc) are experiencing a shortage of our usual stock.
Another, Old Black Horse in Mapperley, Nottingham, said: “Due to the ongoing class actions at Heineken distributors, some of their products are proving very difficult to find.
“Since we’re a free house, luckily we can buy alternative products. So, in the coming weeks, we might be forced to substitute some of your favorites.
“For example, Birra Moretti can be replaced by Peroni. Black fruits Strongbow, Lagunitas and of course Heineken itself are the other products facing supply shortages and therefore substitution.
“Sorry for any inconvenience. It must last until LEAST a week or two in September, probably longer!”
A representative for brewer Heineken said: “It will take some time to get the network back to full capacity,” and many venues and pub owners have warned of the shortages via social media.
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This notice was published: 2021-08-23 13:45:00